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Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours, or BFRBs, are a group of mental health disorders that are characterized by repetitive and compulsive behaviours that result in damage to one's body. These behaviours can include hair-pulling (trichotillomania), skin-picking (dermatillomania), and nail-biting (onychophagia), among others. BFRBs can have a significant impact on a person's mental health and well-being, but there are effective strategies for managing these behaviours. In this article, we will discuss 10 tips to manage BFRB.
Triggers are stimuli or situations that can lead to the onset of a BFRB. Understanding your triggers is an essential first step in managing your BFRB. Common triggers for BFRBs include stress, anxiety, boredom, and frustration. Keeping a journal can help you identify your triggers and develop strategies for managing them. Once you have identified your triggers, you can develop a plan to avoid or minimize them.
Mindfulness is a technique that involves being present in the moment and focusing your attention on your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. Mindfulness can be helpful in managing BFRBs because it can help you become more aware of your urges and more capable of resisting them. Mindfulness techniques include deep breathing, meditation, and yoga.
Engaging in alternative activities can help distract you from the urge to engage in a BFRB. Alternative activities can include things like drawing, knitting, reading, or exercise. Choose activities that you enjoy and that are easily accessible to you. If possible, try to engage in these activities when you feel the urge to engage in a BFRB.
Creating a supportive environment can be a powerful tool in managing BFRBs. This can include seeking out supportive friends and family members who can help you stay accountable and offer encouragement. You can also create a physical environment that is conducive to managing your BFRB, such as removing objects that trigger your behaviour or creating a calming space to retreat to.
Self-care is essential in managing BFRBs. This can include things like getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. Make self-care a priority and try to incorporate it into your daily routine. You may also want to consider activities like meditation, yoga, or therapy as part of your self-care routine.
Professional help can be instrumental in managing BFRBs. BFRBs can be challenging to manage without professional guidance and support. Types of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) have been shown to be effective in treating BFRBs by identifying the triggers and teaching coping mechanisms to prevent the behaviour. CBT is a type of therapy that is designed to help individuals change negative thoughts and behaviours by identifying the patterns that trigger them. It involves working with a therapist to develop new coping skills and strategies for managing BFRBs. Specific types of CBT that work well for BFRBs are Comprehensive Behavior (ComB) Treatment for BFRBs and Habit Reversal Training (HRT)
Archways Centre for CBT is a reliable source of evidence-based therapies for BFRBs. The Centre provides specialized treatment programs for individuals struggling with BFRBs of all ages. The therapy sessions are tailored to the individual's needs and involve a combination of evidence-based techniques to help manage and overcome BFRBs. The therapists at Archways Centre for CBT have specialized training in treating BFRBs and use a compassionate and collaborative approach to help individuals work through their challenges.
Fidget toys can be a helpful tool in managing BFRBs. Fidget toys are small toys that can be manipulated and played with to distract you from your urges. They can be easily carried with you and can be discreetly used when you feel the urge to engage in a BFRB. Fidget toys can include things like stress balls, fidget spinners, or Rubik's cubes.
Developing a positive self-image can be challenging for individuals with BFRBs. The behaviours can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and embarrassment. However, it is essential to develop a positive self-image to manage BFRBs effectively. This can involve reframing negative self-talk and focusing on your strengths and achievements. You may also want to seek out support groups or therapy to help you build a positive self-image.
Setting achievable goals can help you stay motivated and focused on managing your BFRB. Goals can be small or large and should be realistic and specific. Rather than setting a goal of how much to limit the picking or pulling, focus on setting a goal of how often you use the Tips listed above. A reduction in picking and pulling will follow. Celebrate your successes and don't be too hard on yourself if you slip up.
Practicing self-compassion can be challenging for individuals with BFRBs. Self-compassion involves being kind and understanding to yourself, even when you make mistakes or experience setbacks. It can involve treating yourself as you would treat a friend, rather than being overly critical or judgmental. Self-compassion can be practiced through self-talk, mindfulness, and meditation.
In conclusion, managing BFRBs can be challenging, but with the right tools and strategies, it is possible. Understanding your triggers, practicing mindfulness, engaging in alternative activities, creating a supportive environment, developing a self-care routine, seeking professional help, using fidget toys, developing a positive self-image, setting achievable goals, and practicing self-compassion are all effective strategies for managing BFRBs. Archways Centre for CBT is a reliable source of evidence-based therapies for BFRBs and can help individuals manage their BFRBs effectively. If you are struggling with a BFRB, know that you are not alone, and there is help available.